By Tony Attwood
This season there appears to have been a bit of an upsurge in goal scoring with the top six having knocked in 173 goals so far. The difference between the top club and the sixth club is 13 points.
So what does this mean? Does it mean this is how the top six will be at the end of the season? Are we really scoring more than before?
I’ve given my calculator a good telling off for the errors in the last two posts which have used numbers in them, so we’ll see how accurate I can be this time. You may correct my errors, but please do it politely.
In this and the tables below I’ve added a column to the left to show where the clubs ultimately ended up. Here we had 145 goals as opposed to 173 this year. The difference between top and sixth at this stage was six points. Interestingly the top six after 14 games gave a clue as to five of the ultimate top six, but the order was not maintained.
This year only four of the top six were still there at the end. Goal scoring thus far was 157 and the points difference was 13. But here three of the final top four were in their ultimate positions after 14 games.
|12||5||West Ham United||14||7||3||4||23||17||+6||24|
This time the top four at the end were in the top four places after 14 games, but not in the right order. Also all the top six after 14, were in the top six at the end. 162 goals had been scored by now. The difference in points between top and sixth was 10.
The 1-2-3 remained the same from this date to the end of the season. 157 goals had been scored and the difference between top and sixth was 11 points.
|8||4||West Bromwich Albion||14||8||2||4||24||18||+6||26|
First and second were sorted after 14 games, as were the top six but the order changed. 188 goals had been scored and the difference in points between top and sixth was 12.
Overall what have we found
The columns “Top?” etc ask the question, did the position after 14 games tell us who would win the league – yes or no.
So with a comparison over the six years, yes this is a good year for goals, but not the top – 2011/12 had more goals scored by the top six clubs at this point.
In terms of the difference in points between 1st and 6th this season is at the extreme position, with 13 points difference, but five of the six years examined had a points difference of between 10 and 13, so this is pretty much in the normal range.
But does the league position after 14 games tells us who will win the league? In three of the past five seasons yes. Does it predict the top two? Again in three of five seasons yes. But it only predicted the complete top four once.
As for the “outsider” the team that suddenly pops up out of nowhere. Once (obviously Leicester) that team won the league. Otherwise the deal was to end outside the top four.
So this season is at the top end of the statistics for what happens after 14 games, and if you wanted to bet on the favourites the final outcome of the league will be Chelsea first, Arsenal second.
But that is not a given as in two of the last three years the position of the top two has certainly changed around.
One more thing, this is our best league goal scoring record through the first 14 games of the seasons considered. Before this season only one team has got more than 33 goals after 14 games in the tables above. Which is surely a fairly positive situation.
Found any errors? Be gentle. It’s meant to be a bit of fun, and I’ve been working all day!
Tales from Untold